February 6


1953: Elevenses for a serviceman was a cup of tea and a cake in a NAAFI canteen. For soldiers, sailors and airmen in 50 canteens from Worcester to Shrivenham the mid morning snack was prepared in Swindon. Eighty Swindon men and women employed at the NAAFI Bakery in Headlands Grove, spent their days or nights making cakes and pastries at a rate approaching a quarter million a week.

1953: A saving of £5,000 a year was expected by the results of a scheme to provide a central laundry at Swindon Isolation Hospital, to serve the needs of the area covered by the Swindon and District Hospital Management Committee. The scheme was approved by the committee. Under the scheme, the existing laundry at the isolation hospital would be adapted to replace two others operating in the area. One of the main acquisitions would be the introduction of the twin-roll ironing machine costing £2,000.

1963: Clearing the snow in Swindon was costing the ratepayers £1,000 a day, and the total was £37,200, it was reported at a meeting of the Swindon Town Council by Coun I W J Homer, chairman of the Streets and Planning Committee. Coun Homer praised officers and employees of the corporation for their whole-hearted job during the bad weather.

1963: A hazardous drive through the blizzard made Mrs Margo Lloyd of Swindon late for an appointment in Bristol, which she nearly called off. Mrs Lord was glad she didn't as she won the South West round of the Lady Town Crier Contest, and a chance to appear on television in the final, which would be held on the Hughie Green quiz programme Double Your Money.

1973: Ald Mrs Margaret Leakie it was reported would be nominated as the next and last Mayor of Swindon. The Independents with Conservative support put up Ald Mrs Leakie last year but she lost to Labour nominee Coun Peter Furkins. Mrs Leakie had served on the council since 1960. The new mayor would be the last for Swindon Borough as a working party was set to recommend the new district council, comprising Swindon and Highworth Rural District Council, to apply for a character of incorporation as a borough which would make any future mayors the Mayor of Thamesdown.

1973: Hercules aircraft from RAF Lyneham flew supply airlifts for refugees to the Sudan. Four Hercules aircraft were flying relief supplies to Juba in South Sudan under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Three took supplies from Lyneham led by Sqd Leader Harry Newton of 24 Squadron.


1665: Queen Anne, last Stuart ruler, second daughter of James II, was born in London.

1685: The "merry monarch" Charles II died. Some say his last words to his brother James were: "Don't let poor Nellie starve" - a reference to his favourite mistress Nell Gwyn.

1783: English landscape gardener Lancelot 'Capability' Brown died. Kew Gardens and the grounds at Blenheim Palace are examples of his work.

1788: Massachusetts became the sixth state of the United States.

1838: Sir Henry Irving, English actor, was born in Somerset. He was the first actor to be knighted.

1918: The Representation of the People Act received Royal Assent, granting the vote to women over 30.

1927: A boy violinist in short trousers, aged 10, caused a sensation in Paris when he performed Symphonie Espagnole. The child prodigy was Yehudi Menuhin.

1952: King George VI died during the night at Sandringham, aged 56. His daughter, on safari in Africa at the time, succeeded as Elizabeth II.

1958: Seven Manchester United footballers - the Busby Babes - were killed when their plane crashed in thick snow at Munich airport. An eighth, Duncan Edwards, died 15 days later in hospital.

1983: Nazi fugitive Klaus Barbie was charged in Lyon, France, with crimes against humanity.

1997: A widow was allowed to be inseminated with her dead husband's sperm by the Court of Appeal in a historic judgement.

2001: Ariel Sharon, leader of the right-wing Likud party, became the new prime minister of Israel.

2018: Armed police were sent to an Aberdeenshire farm after reports a tiger was on the loose, only to find it was a cuddly toy.

BIRTHDAYS: Rip Torn, actor, 88; Jimmy Tarbuck, comedian, 79; Kevin Whately, actor, 68; Axl Rose, rock singer, 57; Rick Astley, singer, 53; Alice Eve, 37.